“Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father for me. Off the pitch, he is a great and lovely man,” said Rafael. “He helps me out a lot in Manchester. He knows perfectly how to deal with youngsters and when to bring them to the first team. He doesn’t talk much but when he talks, he says only right things. He knows when he needs to be supportive and explain ‘look, you can’t do that now’. And he knows how to be really tough when the team is not playing well.”